Please find enclosed my Christmas gift wish list for this year. I would like to point out that I have certainly been a good boy, as much as a nearly 40-year-old man can be a boy, and there should really be no objections, legal or otherwise, to any of my gift wishes. Also, you’ll soon note, I am quite happy to give up any material gifts allocated to me this year in exchange for the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team getting a few glittery items under their tree.
In lieu of receiving that fancy new impact driver I’ve had my eye on, but let’s be honest, I wasn’t really planning on fixing the backyard fence with, I’d like the Dodgers to receive a hard-throwing right handed pitcher to inherit Brandon Morrow’s 8th inning, since the Cubbies already backed a Brinks truck of cash into his driveway.
Since the Dodgers have zero interest in spending any money on the bullpen in free agency, a trade is really the only realistic scenario. I think Cincinnati’s Raisel Iglesias is a reasonable request. His absolutely devastating arsenal of stuff makes him the ideal bridge to Kenley Jansen, and his origins as a starting pitcher make him ideally suited to pitch multiple innings when called upon—a handy quality to have in your bullpen arms come playoff time. Now, we all know how grinchy those Southwest Ohioans can be come Christmas time, so if they end up demanding far too much in return to make it feasible, I wouldn’t be angry about Toronto’s Roberto Osuna or the Mets’ Jeurys Familia as alternates.
Secondly, I will gladly forgo that 18-year-old Macallan I’ve been salivating over in exchange for the Dodgers’ second base situation getting sorted out. Since I doubt the Astros are a in a big hurry to give us Jose Altuve, I find either of the following situations befitting of an acceptable gift. 1) A short-term placeholder to be the left-handed hitting part of a platoon with Logan Forsythe. 2) A trade for a realistic Altuve-alternate to play the position full-time. Forsythe is a quality defender and gets on base, but is pretty much awful against right-handed pitching.
A precipitous decline in slugging is also alarming, as he had a paltry 25 extra base hits in 2017, compared to an average of 50 the previous two years. Bringing in Neil Walker, the decent slugging but mediocre defending free agent most recently of Milwaukee, could form an effective duo. Or. OR…they could package the aforementioned Forsythe with a couple of prospects in exchange for the Royals’ Whit Merrifield. If KC, as expected, loses both Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas in free agency, they could hit full rebuild mode and flip their emerging second baseman for a package of assets. Like I said, either will work. I’m not picky.
Lastly, and this one is tough, but if it means sorting out the left field situation, I will gladly sacrifice my daughter’s Doc McStuffins dollhouse. (What? Don’t look at me like that!) Look, I’m not really all that bitter about the team doing its absolute damn best to avoid acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, despite the player’s best efforts. I’m also not apoplectic about never have anything beyond preliminary discussions with Miami about Marcell Ozuna before he went Missouri-bound. I’m also well aware that the team is trying to cut salary – not add it – so I’m not going to cry about JD Martinez being out of the question.
But with Andrew Toles’ uncertain health, Joc Pederson’s maddening inconsistency, and Alex Verdugo’s complete unknown-ness, it sure would be nice to upgrade there. My first choice would be Oakland’s Khris Davis, who has hit a combined 85 home runs the last two seasons. You know what you get. Poor defense, lots of strikeouts, and ALL the home runs. Seriously, all of them. But, considering he’s financially inexpensive for Oakland, thereby fitting their model, they may not want to part with him.
The backup plan here consists of a couple of dudes on the south side of Chicago. Avisail Garcia is coming off a terrific season in which he OPS’d nearly .900, and if you’re going to settle for bad defense, why not get it from a guy who nearly won a batting title. Thing is about guys who nearly win batting titles, lots of teams want them. So if the market ends up pricing Garcia out of the Dodgers’ comfort zone, a dude name Jose Abreu is available too. Sure, he’d have to play first, shifting Cody Bellinger to left field, but so what? Since 2014, Abreu has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball.
So, Santa, I’ll leave the milk and cookies out for you. If you have any alternative offers, have your elves tweet me @thestainsports.
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